Love, Victor Season Two is available on Disney + from June 18th; this live blog is updated after each episode has aired.
Season One – RECAP
One week from now, we will be heading back to Creekwood High for the second season of Love, Victor. But, before we rejoin Victor, Benji, Mia and Felix, let’s take a quick look back at season one. Of course, you can read our full spoiler-free review of the first season here, but I am assuming you are here because you are ready for season two. So, a word of warning, I am about to go through the story so far.
Having just moved from Texas to Atlanta, the Salazar family, dad, Armando, mum Isabel, Victor, his sister Pilar and the youngest Adrian settle into their new apartment. However, Armando and Isabel have not been completely honest with the kids about the reason for their move, and the truth sits hidden as they unpack their belongings. For Victor, Pilar and Adrian, the move also means a new school. And for Pilar and Victor, this couldn’t have come at a more difficult time as they attempt to make new friends. However, for Victor, the move also opens up new possibilities, as he attempts to navigate feelings that have haunted him for a while. Victor is confused about his sexuality and unsure of who he is and who he wants to be. His feelings of confusion only intensified by a family environment where the word gay is problematic.
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Victor is aware that his new school was once home to Simon Spier (Love, Simon) and reaches out to Simon via Instagram for some advice. Simon, now living with Bram in New York, responds, and a long-distance friendship begins. Meanwhile, Victor also meets the geeky and adorable Felix who lives next door, slowly striking up a friendship. Everything is going pretty well at Creekwood, as Victor joins the basketball team and meets the beautiful Mia. But, in the back of his mind, his sexuality continues to dominate his thoughts; what would his parents do if they knew? What would his new friends think? And could he be gay, bisexual or just confused?
These questions are only heightened when Victor meets Benji, who works at the local coffee shop. Benji is out and proud, confident and engaging; he even has a boyfriend. For Victor, Benji is pure perfection, and he quickly gets a job at the coffee shop working alongside him. But, Benji is also unattainable, and showing any affection or attraction would only worsen Victor’s situation. And anyway, Mia seems to like Victor, and she is also beautiful, sweet and supportive. But can Victor really offer Mia anything more than friendship?
Victor opts to date Mia, while Felix tries to woo Mia’s popular best friend, trying to overcome his shyness. And by Christmas, Victor has convinced himself that he is straight, even though he knows that to be a lie. Meanwhile, secrets are coming out at home, as his sister discovers the reason for the family move, and Victor finds himself trying to keep the family unit together.
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To add to Victor’s problems, his crush on Benji continues to gnaw away at him, even when he tries to distance himself. And during a road trip with Benji for work, Victor’s secret finally becomes too hard to suppress; kissing Benji as they share a bed in a local motel. Benji quickly ends the kiss and tells Victor he has a boyfriend, and Victor finds himself rejected just when he needed love.
But, to add to his problems, Victor now also knows his relationship with Mia is based on a lie, and he is sexually attracted to boys. And so Victor turns to Simon, arranging to visit him in New York for a weekend. A weekend that will forever change Victor’s life as he finally accepts who he is and what he wants. His return to Creekwood, wrapped in an urgent need to tell Mia and Felix that he is gay.
However, this is easier said than done, and while Victor tells Felix, he waits to tell Mia. He knows this is wrong, but he can’t break the news before the summer prom. And so as the summer comes into view, Mia and Victor attend the dance, but waiting in the wings is Benji, whose relationship is slowly unravelling, with Victor’s kiss the reason. And as the prom gets into full swing, Benji and Victor sneak outside and finally find love and comfort in each other’s arms; Mia looking on with shock as she sees them kiss. The boys, oblivious to her presence. But that’s not the only revelation prom night will bring, as Victor finally comes out to his parents as they also announce some shocking news.
LOVE, VICTOR – SEASON TWO
EPISODE ONE – PERFECT SUMMER BUBBLE
Warning Spoilers Ahead!
We’re back, and what better place for season two to begin than with the coming out speech that ended season one. In case you have forgotten, season one ended with Victor and Benji finally getting it on, Mia devastated, and Victor announcing his sexuality in front of his sister and parents following the summer ball. And now we finally get to see the response, and just as we thought, both Armando and Isabel are left in shock while Victor’s sister Pilar wraps her arms around her brother. However, Victor’s dad Armando already seems less perturbed by Victor’s news, asking the typical questions: What about Mia? And When did you decide? To which Victor responds, “I didn’t decide; I just am!.” Meanwhile, Victor’s mum sits in silence, and it’s clear she may have more of a problem with the news than her husband.
We then jump forward ten weeks as the summer break from school nears its end. Victor and Benji are loved up, Armando and Isabel have separated as planned. Felix has taken a summer job at Brasstown coffee alongside Victor and Benji. And Mia has taken up a camp counsellor role out of town. But, as the summer nights begin to turn to Autumn, Victor’s mum continues to struggle with her son’s news.
Meanwhile, Victor’s dad settles into his new apartment, awkwardly attempting to show an interest in Victor and Benji’s new relationship. And Victor attempts to navigate his mother’s distance while also beginning to question how he and Benji will announce their relationship at school as the new term begins. And as Mia returns home and makes contact with Lake (who is even more smitten with Felix), she finds herself wondering where she fits within the newly formed group.
Considering its short 27-minute runtime, Love, Victor’s season two opener crams in a hell of a lot of significant issues left hanging at the end of season one. And at times, this leads to a slightly busy overlapping narrative. However, this also enables the episode to set the groundwork for four stories that will undoubtedly run through the season. The first of these stories centres on Victor and Benji’s return to school as a couple and Victor’s newfound confidence in his sexuality. The second is Victor’s mum’s problematic relationship with her son and his new boyfriend and her separation from Armando. Meanwhile, the third centres on Mia and her feelings for the friendship circle changed by Victor and Benji’s relationship. And finally, the fourth opens up the challenging home life of Felix, first glimpsed in season one.
While, at times, ‘Perfect Summer Bubble’ may feel too busy, it’s a solid start to season two, reflecting a new maturity and confidence in each character following the events of season one. And with multiple plot drivers established, this could be the start of a second season even more substantial than the first.
EPISODE TWO – DAY ONE, TAKE TWO
Those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ will never truly understand the challenges of coming out to family, friends and even strangers. Coming out is not a singular event, and while we all have a time and place where we decide to be ourselves, the truth is coming out never stops; it just becomes easier with time. For Victor, his coming out journey goes far beyond his previous relationship with Mia or his new love for Benji. And the complexities of this journey are all too real as we start episode two.
As we join episode two, Victor is not only battling with a sense of guilt over how he lied to Mia in the weeks leading up to prom but is also nervous about school friends knowing he and Benji are an item. But, to add to that, Victor’s mum continues to be evasive, and while stating she loves him, Victor knows she has not come to terms with his sexuality. The process of his coming out cloaked in an unspoken discomfort at home, as his mum avoids any discussion. The result is a confusing patchwork of experiences for Victor. His world, divided between Benji’s love and support, fear of losing his mum, and apprehension of reactions at school. Of course, Victor’s experiences in episode two are nothing new.
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Most LGBTQ+ people will recount the mixed emotions and fears surrounding the weeks and months after coming out to family or friends. Each day a new coming out experience as the net widened and more people heard the news. And while liberating, this is also scary, just as Victor is finding out. The confidence he displayed in episode one, now challenged as the reality of school comes into view, and his mum warns him of the dangers of telling people he is gay. Her words only further confusing the picture in Victor’s mind as he tries to find the right path through the first days of term.
Meanwhile, for Mia, the first day of school also represents a challenge; the rumour mill. And this is not helped by Victor’s initial reluctance to tell people about him and Benji. The school gossip page ‘Creek Secrets’ going into overdrive as Victor’s basketball team spread rumours that she cheated on Victor over the summer. Of course, this only adds to Victor’s sense of guilt around Mia and a feeling that he has to do the right thing and come out to his school friends. So after a chat with Benji, where Benji explains his own coming out journey, Victor bites the bullet and announces their relationship.
At the same time, Felix continues to struggle at home, his mum’s mental health problems now placing their home at risk. And as Felix struggles to find a way of paying the rent, it’s Pilar he confides in – and we can’t help but wonder whether there is a possible relationship between them brewing?
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Lacing themes of coming out with internal guilt and an external crisis of confidence, episode two once again plays to the strengths of Becky Albertalli’s original book. Highlighting that coming out is both internal and external in nature, as we try to judge the reactions of those around us. After all, as Simon said, “And this gay thing. It feels so big. It’s almost insurmountable. I don’t know how to tell them something like this and still come out of it feeling like Simon. Because if Leah and Nick don’t recognise me, I don’t even recognise myself anymore.”. And just like Simon, Victor’s internal and social journey is just beginning as we leave episode two. But luckily, he has Benji to support just how big the gay thing is.
EPISODE THREE – THERE’S NO GAY IN TEAM
Relationships are messy, and emotions even more so. And despite what anyone tells you, we go through our entire lives wondering how we fit in, what people think of us, and what role we should play. It is, of course, true that these feelings get slightly easier with age, but they never fully disappear.
In episode two of Love, Victor, I talked about coming out as a journey, not a singular event. Part of this journey is rooted in emotions, feelings and belonging. And as Victor is just beginning to realise, his announcement at the end of episode two stirs up a range of responses among his fellow students. These responses range from sudden and unexpected interest in his life to friendships suddenly feeling distant and vague. And at the heart of the latter sits his basketball teammates, some of whom now feel uncomfortable changing alongside him in the locker rooms.
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One of the strange things about the coming out journey for both women and men lies within the reaction of some same-sex friends who suddenly worry you may secretly fancy them. These friends struggle to understand that same-sex attraction does not mean you are attracted to every person with a penis or vagina. In addition, they struggle to comprehend the fact that you have not suddenly become a sexual predator. Secretly stalking the locker rooms with uncontrollable desire or lust like a vampire seeking its blood fix.
Just like heterosexuals, LGBTQ+ people have specific tastes and desires when searching for a partner. Equally, they form friendships with other gay men and women that are not, and never will be, sexual. In fact, the very thought of sexual relationships with their close same-sex friends often fills them with horror. Victor is now learning that this fear of difference that his teammates display is based on their insecurities. His new place as an out gay man in a world of masculine stereotypes threatening the status quo. But, can Victor navigate the isolation of the locker room? Or will he take the easy way out?
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Meanwhile, Armando explores his emotions and feelings on Victor’s coming out and how he can further develop his relationship with his son. And as episode three opens, we see Armando attend his first PFlag support group for parents of LGBTQ+ kids. There he meets Simon’s dad, and despite his nerves, Armando finds someone he can openly talk to, finally sharing his concerns and feelings. Armando’s journey so far in the season reflects every supportive parent’s steps in redefining their parental role when a child comes out. But, once again, Victor’s mum is not present. Her personal barriers to Victor’s coming out only further dividing the family unit.
But, the messy nature of emotions, feelings, and belonging is not just the preserve of Victor as episode three continues. Here, we find Mia desperately trying to connect with a new college boy, leading her to lie about her age. While at the same time, Felix struggles financially as his mum’s depression haunts his home life. And as a boozy college party leads Mia to reconnect with Victor and decide she needs to be honest, Felix finally opens up to Lake about his problems. But, this also leaves Victor’s sister feeling rejected as her special, open relationship with Felix becomes less important to him.
Episode three is all about the emotions and feelings we carry daily and the complexity of finding our place. Whether that be in our school, our team, our friendship circle or family. And as the episode ends, we realise just how hard that journey can be, as Victor announces to his dad that he has quit the basketball team.
Next Page: Episode Four to Six